Network Structures in Service Provision

M.E. Kreye

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


As the academic understanding of servitization has matured over time, an interesting trend in terms of the development of described network structures can be observed. Initially, research studies have focused on service dyads, concentrating on the requirements of manufacturers wishing to engage in services to develop novel capabilities for developing and delivering services and conversely adapting their internal structures and capability base (Baines et al., 2007). Here, the main insights typically focus on the lack of internal complementarity between service operations and manufacturing (Oliva, Gebauer, & Brann, 2012), creating difficulties in engaging with customers and provide the desired value. For example, Fang et al. (2008) highlight that the transition towards services can create internal confusion, tension and even conflict between the service and product-focused operations because of the need to focus around customer needs and processes (Sampson & Froehle, 2006).

Recently, research studies have focused around more complex network structures for service provision, including the contribution of intermediaries or multiple suppliers (Raddats, Kowalkowski, Benedettini, Burton, & Gebauer, 2019). Here, different sets of capabilities between partners can be combined with the aim to achieve collective benefits faster, at less cost, with greater flexibility, and with less risk (Kreye & Perunovic, 2020b). Yet, operational challenges and the ability to achieve service performance in these set-ups differ substantially from earlier works focusing on the service dyad.
The aim
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Servitization
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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